|“||I never risk my own skin if I don't have to.||„|
|~ Gunray to Ahsoka Tano|
Nute Gunray is a major villain in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy serving as a major antagonist of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and a supporting antagonist in The Clone Wars animated series. He is the Viceroy of the Trade Federation and high-ranking member of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Invasion of Naboo
Nute Gunray was the vicious, cruel but coward Viceroy of the Trade Federation. He turned the company evil, and worked for Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, who was pretending to be Senator Palpatine in the Republic. On Sidious' orders, Gunray had the Trade Federation form a blockade on Sidious' own planet Naboo. This caused a rivalry between the Galactic Republic and the Trade Federation, and the Jedi sent Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ordered by Sidious to execute them, Gunray came close but failed to kill the two Jedi, who then escape to Naboo. Sidious then had Gunray begin an invasion, and soon Naboo was taken over, instating Gunray as the leader. The Royal Guards, Queen Padme Amidala and other members of the Naboo government were imprisoned and taken hostage, but Qui-Gon and Kenobi freed them and fled the planet. Gunray informed Sidious of this, who angrily sent his apprentice, Darth Maul, to aid Gunray on Naboo. When Padme and the Jedi returned, Sidious ordered Gunray to destroy them all. A large battle ensued, and a mysterious boy, Anakin Skywalker, who the Jedi had brought with them, accidentally destroyed the Trade Federation ship, winning the battle. However, Maul and Qui-Gon had been killed in battle, and due to this event, Sidious was made Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and helped Gunray remain in his position and evade arrest.
A decade later, Sidious' new apprentice, Count Dooku, plunged the galaxy into havoc by making the Confederacy of Independent Systems, also known as the Separatist Alliance. Gunray and Sidious ordered their bounty hunter, Zam Wesell, to execute Padme, but she failed. Later, the Separatists grouped on Geonosis, but Obi-Wan, his new apprentice Anakin, and Padme arrived. Gunray watched as they faced near death in capture, but the Republic's Clone Army and the Jedi Order arrive and began a full-scale battle. Gunray and Poggle the Lesser delivered the plans of the Separatist's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, to a fleeing Dooku. The battle was lost, but the war had just begun. The Clone Wars started, and Gunray was positioned as the ruler of Rodia. Feigning to promise to protect the planet from consistent pirate attacks, Gunray remained in his role until his ally, Senator Farr, betrayed Gunray to Padme, who arrested him under Republic custody.
Escape and Demise
Dooku and Sidious sent Asajj Ventress to free Gunray, who managed to withstand the interrogations of Jedi Ahsoka Tano and Luminara Unduli. Gunray and Ventress managed to escape alongside Clone Commander Faro Argyus, who secretly worked for them. Ventress killed Argyus after the two had an argument, and Gunray praised Ventress. A few years later, during the last day of the Clone Wars, Dooku was killed, so Sidious and General Grievous, the droid commander, sent Gunray and the Separatists to Mustafar. However, the war was over when Kenobi executed Grievous. Sidious turned Anakin to the dark side as his new Sith apprentice Darth Vader, and the Republic was destroyed, putting the Galactic Empire in power. Sidious had no need for the Separatists, and had Vader attack and slaughter them, including a pleading Gunray, ending the villain. Gunray was critical to Sidious' rise, as his attack on Naboo made the Republic install Sidious as Supreme Chancellor.